How To Choose a Funeral Home

When you know what brand and model of car you want, it’s smart to shop dealerships to get the best deal. After all, the car is the same at every car dealership;  the only difference is the cost. The same is not true when selecting a professional service. For example, every hospital provides its own specialties, and every doctor or lawyer has different strengths.

The same principle applies to funeral services. It’s very easy to get confused when selecting a funeral home. Service descriptions often sound the same. Caskets, urns, and vaults can look the same and the funeral facilities appear similar. But all of these seemingly identical features can be misleading.

For instance, funeral homes might appear similar from the outside, but what about the inside? Leading funeral homes typically offer superior facilities with options inferior ones cannot provide – such as reception rooms. A reception after a funeral often features appetizers or a meal, as food plays an important role in many other family events. Plus, given the cold winters in northern Ohio, it’s convenient when a funeral home has a reception room on the premises so family members and guests don’t have to drive to another location. Some funeral homes with reception facilities even provide catering services for additional ease.

When it comes to cremation, it is critical that the funeral home you select owns and operates its own crematory on site. Many funeral homes contract with crematories well outside of their community for cremation services. This means your loved one would be transferred to another business for care – a business you’ve never heard of or researched. You want the peace of mind knowing your loved one never leaves the care of the funeral home you personally selected.

Another important factor to consider is how administrative services affect the quality of the funeral services. This includes:

  • Offering payment options including credit cards and insurance
  • Accepting pre-need transfers
  • Applying for and receiving death certificates
  • Printing services for memorials
  • Insurance assignment services
  • Professional, ethical crematory processes

The differences among funeral homes are not always tangible – but  these factors are just as important. Consider the professional culture at a funeral home. The expertise and personality of the staff can make all the difference between planning an event loved ones will always remember and experiencing an absolute nightmare when you’re already stressed and vulnerable. Because time is of the essence when planning a funeral, the funeral directors and management team need to make you their top priority. You will need a personal contact at the funeral home who is available to help you with things like making travel arrangements for friends and family coming from out of town.

Funeral preplanning is a wise decision that’s becoming increasingly accepted and appreciated. The most important benefit from preplanning is the peace of mind your entire family will experience in knowing the important decisions have already been made. When it’s time to plan your own arrangements, you want a professional who understands your religious or fraternal affiliations, as they can play a major role in your funeral service.

Finally, the most important factor in selecting a funeral home is ownership. Just like a church or hospital, a funeral home is an integral part of the community they serve. Funeral home owners should be visible and active in their communities. The most professional funeral directors make themselves available to speak to church and civic groups on funeral preplanning and other important topics like veteran benefits. Consider choosing a family-owned funeral home for the most excellent care.